State Fire Marshall Offers Outdoor Grilling Safety Tips

gas grillHYANNIS – Memorial Day is the traditional launch of the summer barbecue season and the State Fire Marshall is offering the public a few outdoor grilling safety tips.

“Check to make sure all the connections are tight and secure before firing up the gas grill for the first time this season,” said Ostroskey. “Using a brush, apply a soapy solution made of one part dish liquid and one part water to the tank connection. If the solution bubbles, you have a leak that needs repair.”

Ostroskey also recommended checking for and replacing any cracked hoses.

It is also recommended that everyone always grill outdoors and place grills away from the house and deck railings (about 10 feet).

Ostroskey has issued the following safety tips:

  • Make sure that the grills are not under eaves, overhanging branches or against the side of a building.
  • A gas or charcoal grill should not be used on any porch or balcony. Electric grills that have no open flame may be used.
  • Gas grills can be used on first floor open decks or patios if there is an exterior stairway to the ground, or it is at ground level.
  • Grills should never be used indoors or on fire escapes.
  • Keep children and pets three feet away from the grill area. Create a circle of safety.
  • Never leave a grill burning unattended.
  • Keep the grill clean by removing grease or fat build-up from the grills and trays below the grill.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
  • If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait 15 minutes before relighting.
  • Never use gasoline on any grill.

Between 2011 and 2015, there were 431 fires reported to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System involving grills, hibachis and barbecues.

The incidents caused 20 injuries, three firefighter injuries and $3.5 million in property damage.

“Practice safety around charcoal grills,” said Ostroskey. “Make sure to always use charcoal grills outside in a well-ventilated area. Let the coals cool completely before disposing in a metal container.”

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